Pot’s Growing on in March 2015? Keeping seedlings alive and watching the world come to life

With the spring equinox (and a non-existent cloud hidden solar eclipse) done and dusted, Clapham is noticeably exploding into growth right now. The little propagation station we have set up in the front, south west facing bay window is working wonders…

Ricinus communis 'Carmenchita' growing strong
Ricinus communis ‘Carmenchita’ growing strong

Ricinus communis ‘Carmenchita’ from Sarah Raven not only have beautiful big (but poisonous) seeds, their germination is a wonderful thing to behold. Slow and primeval, a red stalk slowly drags the large cotyledons out of the soil, like an umbilical cord / crane over the course of two weeks.

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ seems to be doing well with most now growing their second or third true leaves. Both the grasses, Briza media and Lagurus ovatus are doing well. Unfortunately, the second batch of Solenostemon scuttelarioides after seemingly escaping damping off, after being pricked out, some have developed what looks like the start of the disease and growth slowed 🙁 I’m suspecting a dodgy batch of seeds as I sterilised the growing media to kingdom come! I’ll try again in the summer.

Vicia faba 'Aquadulce Claudia' flowers
Vicia faba ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ flowers

Down in my raised bed at the local community garden, even though my broad beans and peas were early cropping varieties, I was surprised to find them this week completely covered in flowers. I’ve been advised to pollinate them as there might not be enough bees around yet. Though I’m not sure how really… eek.

My raised bed has suddenly sprung into action in the growing warmth and light. It has been very dry recently here though.
My raised bed has suddenly sprung into action in the growing warmth and light. It has been very dry recently here though.

Around the area, signs of spring are everywhere, with local Magnolia buds bursting, daffodils here, there and everywhere, and the leaf buds on trees and shrubs all splitting with green shining through.

It all feels like a long time coming, but suddenly, all planned planting needs to happen right now! I’m so excited. Last year at this time I knew nothing. I had no ‘favourite’ plants. Now, in my second proper gardening year, I know quite a bit more yet there’s so much still to find out, learn and explore.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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